QC contact tracing capacity doubles in 1 week

By Marita Moaje

October 28, 2021, 10:30 am

<p><em>(PNA file photo)</em></p>

(PNA file photo)

MANILA – The Quezon City government is now able to trace 31.2 contacts per individual found positive of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), boosting its capacity to mitigate further spread of infections.

In a statement Wednesday night, Mayor Joy Belmonte said this contact tracing capacity from October 16 to 22 is double the capacity during the week of October 2 to 9 which is 14.94.

She said that these intensified efforts are part of the city government's strategy to combat the dreaded disease.

“This is very important to us because even though we are focused on vaccinating our population now, early detection of cases is still a vital step in mitigating the spread of the disease,” Belmonte said.

The city government has earlier detected clustering of infections in closed and long-term facilities such as convents and religious institutions, orphanages, and other establishments, through the city’s Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU).

Upon discovery of the clustering of cases, Belmonte immediately tasked CESU to conduct contact tracing on all possible individuals who had been in contact with those found positive of Covid-19.

In September, nine religious nuns out of 114 people who tested positive for Covid-19 from the Congregation of the Religious of the Virgin Mary (RVM) succumbed to the disease.

Meanwhile, a total of 122 people, mostly children, at the Gentle Hands Orphanage in Barangay Bagumbuhay in Quezon City have tested positive for Covid-19.

Of those found infected, 99 are children aged 17 and below, according to the city government.

Because of this series of events, Belmonte ordered the strict monitoring of all similar facilities located in the city to prevent the same from happening again.

Belmonte said the city is close to achieving the ideal 1:37 contact tracing ratio of positive and close contacts, based on the earlier statement of contact tracing czar and Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong.

CESU chief, Dr. Rolly Cruz, said contact tracing is one of the city's key strategies in the fight against Covid-19.

“Without proper tracing, positive cases will just and multiply rapidly in different communities. But what we have in Quezon City is a strong arm of contract tracers - both manpower and digital-based,” Cruz said.

Currently, QC has about 3,500 contact tracers through the help of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

He added that more than 42,000 establishments are now using the “KyusiPass”, the city’s contact tracing app which helps boost the contact tracing efforts.

The OCTA Research Group, in its latest report, cited the improvement in the Covid-19 situation in QC.

Data from OCTA Research showed that the average number of new cases per day for the week of October 19 to 25 is now at 206 and that cases in the past three weeks have been steadily decreasing.

The city’s reproduction number for the same period is 0.46 while the positivity rate is now at 7 percent.

The average daily attack rate (ADAR) per 100,000 is now at 6.47.

OCTA has already classified QC as low-risk in reproduction number, hospital occupancy rate, and moderate risk on ADAR and positivity rate.

In the past weeks, the city has also seen a steady decline in its number of active Covid-19 infections.

As of Wednesday, the city’s active Covid-19 cases is now at 3,056 or 1.73 percent while the total number of recoveries is now at 97.42 percent, or a total of 171,853. (PNA)